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Square Meal Review of Chiltern Firehouse ?

New York-based hotelier and developer André Balazs has acquired the Grade II-listed building that once housed Chiltern Street fire station and turned it into a boutique hotel – called, appropriately, the Chiltern Firehouse. The kitchen is fronted by red-hot Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes, though fans of his trailblazing Viajante may be disappointed: here the food offer is more ingredients-led with a strong American accent, reflecting the years Mendes spent in the States working with the likes of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Wolfgang Puck (of Cut fame). Caesar salad is unexpectedly transformed with crunchy chicken skin, sea trout crudo with yellow mole sauce and coriander is a spanking-fresh spin on ceviche, and we loved the straightforward flavours of char-grilled Ibérico pork with roast garlic and lemon. Chiltern Firehouse is currently the hottest ticket in town: celebs sprinkle stardust through the dining room, while staff prove they are far more than a cast of pretty faces. If you can’t get a table, try the small-but-perfect bar, where appetite-spiking vermouth cocktails are partnered by knockout bites. Brunch offers a more affordable way in, but it’s worth persevering for that covetable dinner booking.

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  1. I booked Chiltern Firehouse 2 months in advance for a Friday 6.30pm sitting in early May. With all the amazing reviews hitting the papers, I looked forward to my own experience with much anticipation.

    The evening had a delayed start as one of my darling clients decided to call up at 6pm on a Friday night to discuss US tax implications on a certain transaction. (I am not a tax specialist nor a lawyer). This phone call made me 30 minutes for the booking. As much as I understand the importance for restaurants to have a quick turnaround, if there were a petition to abolish 2.5 hour table turn arounds, I would be the first to sign it!...
    More from Life's Indulgences »

  1. Chiltern Firehouse is THE hottest restaurant in London at the moment. It’s so much of a sensation that it has become a regular on the celebrity circuit. Barely a day goes by where there isn’t a press mention of an A-lister passing through its doors.
    Chiltern Firehouse is owned by property magnate André Balazs who is known for his luxury hotel portfolio which includes Chateau Marmont in LA and The Mercer in New York. Balazs has similarly converted the Chiltern Firehouse property, a Grade II-listed building that was once home to the Chiltern Street fire station, into a luxury hotel. The restaurant is run by Chef Nuno Mendes who needs no introduction to those who know the London dining scene well. He trained at El Bulli and his last residence at Restaurant Viajante went on to receive great critical acclaim as well as a Michelin star. Working along side Mendes is Dale Osborne who previously cooked at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  1. Set in a handsomely renovated fire station and manned by friendly and efficient staff, the Chiltern Firehouse is excessively popular with both moneyed suits and celebs alike. They’re probably relived they can sample the creations of chef Nuno Mendes without having to leave their oligarch comfort zone as they would’ve done with Mendes’ previous restaurant, Viajante, in the wilds of Bethnal Green. Sadly and shamefully I never ate at Viajante, but the Euro Hedgie did which made him the perfect dining companion for this dinner.

    The best seats in the house, assuming you’re eating solo or as part of a couple, are at the counter looking directly into the busy yet quietly efficient kitchen. There are plenty of quick-to-arrive snacks to graze on while waiting for the bigger dishes on the menu...
    More from The Picky Glutton »

  1. Published : Thursday, 29 May 2014

    Samphire and Salsify :: Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone

    It’s fair to say that Chiltern Firehouse is London’s hottest ‘sleb’ spot right now. Anybody who’s anybody ain’t anybody if they haven’t been papped leaving this restaurant in Andre Balazs’ first UK hotel based in a former, and rather grand, fire station in Marylebone. It’s not all smoke and mirrors however, as head chef Nuno Mendes (formerly of Viajante in Bethnal Green) is running the kitchen – and he’s bloody good.

    I loved my first visit when we sat at the counter overlooking the bustling kitchen. My visit on this occasion however was for brunch with some friends and this time we were seated in the middle of the dining room. It was an attractive space if not a little cramped; whalloping one of the handsome waiters in the groin (accidentally) soon became a common occurrence. And that’s another thing; every single person who works there is so incredibly good looking – but friendly with it too which is nice...
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  1. Chiltern Firehouse is THE hottest restaurant in London at the moment. It's so much of a sensation that it has become a regular on the celebrity circuit. Barely a day goes by where there isn’t a press mention of an A-lister passing through its doors. Chiltern Firehouse is owned by property magnate...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  1. Anyone who is anyone (and a lot of people who are no one) have been paraded and snapped at Chiltern since its opening in the new André Balazs hotel in February. It’s won Tatler’s Restaurant of the Year (after being open for just three months - does that even make sense?), has been fawned over by almost everyone who has visited (national critics included), and is so hot on the celebrity front that the Daily Mail Online Showbiz column could dedicate a whole section to it.

    I - as well as everyone else, I’m sure - went in with high expectations. Some were met, others were very far off.

    One thing that is indisputable is the splendour of the place - it is achingly beautiful...
    More from The Cutlery Chronicles »

  1. Greeted by a uniformed doorman, it’s service all the way. Once you have gone through the garden of Eden, a pleasant, smiley gentleman opens the door into the restaurant; an impossibly glamorous girl takes your coat and then you go to the greeting lectern, and another immaculate member of staff takes you to the table. So far, I’ve had to smile and say hello to four people before I managed to sit at my table. The staff/customer ratio is extremely high.

    On our way to our table, we walk past a happening bar, full of glamorous young women and their somewhat older male companions, who have been told that this is the place. For once, I think they are right...
    More from Saying it straight »

  1. Recently refurnished hotels in New York are a commonality by André Balazs, but for his first foray into the London market, he has certainly outshone himself by converting an old fire station into a beautifully cosy, stylish designer hotel restaurant. With involvement from Nuno Mendes (from the now closed Viajante), this restaurant lives up to expectations both in style, substance and most of all, ambience.

    Foodwise, the menu is an American inspired twist to Nuno’s contemporary style, with bar snacks including buttermilk fried chicken. Coated in a thin crispy batter liken to a panko crumb rather than the heavily floured batter prevalent in many American diners, the succulent bite size pieces of chicken are served with a smoky bacon ranch dipping. A dish of which you could happily devour a whole bucket...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 31 July 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Chiltern Firehouse

    By now it is common knowledge that Chiltern Firehouse is a hotbed of celebrity activity, with those higher echelons of society flocking to it like flies to excrement. This, of course, is enough to make anyone immediately suspicious and probably slightly curious. These are the feelings that overcome me to begin with, which upon tasting the food are replaced with disenchantment and regret.

    The flurry of good PR that Chiltern Firehouse has been blessed with makes it the kind of place that a certain kind of person would kill to be in. Imagine the excitement that this person must feel, to place their puckered arse onto the hallowed seats that the arses of Lily Allen, Kate Moss, Bradley Cooper and the Camerons have also perched upon. What unencumbered bliss, what unbridled joy. When your sphincter is so well taken care of, who really cares about what going on in your mouth, right?...
    More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »

  1. Below the radar for some time, it’s suddenly on everyone’s wish list. That may be because it’s awfully hard to get a table. Only 40 covers and not that many sittings, it’s not a last minute sort of place .The chef-owner is the wonderfully-named Taylor Bonnyman, previously chef at Corton, in New York, the executive chef was at Marcus Wareing and the pastry chef worked with Tom Aikens. Pedigree central then. And you can see that in the precision of the cooking.
    All neutrals, good lighting and plush luxury, someone with deep pockets has spent a fortune on this fit-out. Tasteful, elegant and calm...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 9 March 2014

    Samphire and Salsify :: Chiltern Firehouse

    Chiltern Firehouse is the restaurant inside the new hotel with the same name in Marylebone by André Balazs and it’s run by head chef Nuno Mendes. I was sad when I heard he was leaving Bethnal Green’s Viajante and Corner Room but after seeing this new venture, I can understand why he did – it’s pretty amazing.

    The hotel wasn’t open yet on our visit but as we walked through the delightful courtyard to get to the restaurant, we got an idea of the grandeur and beauty of the place; the building alone is stunning. Considering it’s only got 26 rooms, it feels massive...
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  1. The restaurant is based in Andre Balazs new hotel in Marylebone, also called Chiltern Firehouse. Though the hotel was not yet open we entered the restaurant via a pretty court yard. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day for our eagerly anticipated brunch!

    The building is a stunning grade II listed property and once housed Chiltern Street Fire station, hence the name of the hotel and restaurant!...
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